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Originally posted by Kantzveldt
Yes i have just about arrived at a cohesive reconstruction of the earliest cosmology, i need to put together then frame whatever questions are raised and answered.
If I were you I'd be less quick about patching together a 'cosmology' for these cultures.
We've so far excavated about 5% of Gobleki Tepe and there's still lots to learn (we've so far excavated roughly 80% of Pompeii and we still learn new things about that culture). If in the future we dig out a contemporary 20 room apartment complex in downtown LA, and in the one room we excavate we find the head of a Buddha, do we have enough knowledge of the cultural markers in order to say - based on that find - that 21st century West Coast American cosmology was Buddhist?
The bull was certainly part of these people's cosmology. If we look at what all the early neolithic people had in common was a need to depict the fauna in the world they lived. This is evident in the early cave art of Europe (Chauvet, Lascaux, Altamira, etc), it continues in more complex neolithic cultures such as Gobleki Tepe and Dja'de, and is continued in later neolithic cultures such as Catal Huyuk. Then it is carried on to antique 'civilisations' such as the Sumerians, the Indus Valley civilisation and the Egyptians... not to mention the Minoans, the Canaanites, the Greeks, etc.
The bull has a central role in the neolithic animal cosmology for sure. I can only speculate as to why bulls had characteristics that appealed to these people.
It's a big, strong and potentially dangerous animal that invokes respect and has a sense of drama (seeing a massive bull kick up dust is something).
It also invokes respect as the guardian of the herd.
So it is powerful and protective, which I suppose are two main attributes that men of all ages like to project onto themselves.
In all these cultures mentioned, from the early neolithic cave murals to Greek mythology, we find anthropomorphic figures as well, and personally I find them more interesting than the bull depictions if we're talking cosmology.
Why, because there are no other known function of the anthropomorphic figure than shamanic.
Shamanism is the fundamental relationship between man and elements in nature that can be defined as spiritual or supernatural. It is therefore the basis for all sectarian or religious beliefs in supernatural entities.
We find these anthropomorphic figures in Gobleki Tepe in the shape of the great, decorated pillars. Those who have been excavated are T-shaped stone blocks that carry 'human' attributes such as arms, belts equipped with belt buckles and decorations on the belt in form of H- and C-shaped symbols. Loincloth (fox pelt) depicted in relief cut out of the stone is hanging down, covering the genital region. Who are these entities represented in 20 ton stone blocks? The 'Giants' of ancient days?
The Egyptians have a legend that the end of Osiris's life came on the seventeenth of the month, on which day it is quite evident to the eye that the period of the full moon is over Because of this the Pythagoreans call this day "the Barrier," and utterly abominate this number. For the number seventeen, coming in between the square sixteen and the oblong rectangle eighteen, which, as it happens, are the only plane figures that have their perimeters equal their areas, bars them off from each other and disjoins them, and breaks up the ratio of eight to eight and an eighth by its division into unequal intervals